The Denver Post - - NEWS -

Au­thor­i­ties in Pueblo County have iden­ti­fied the man, woman and child killed late Thurs­day in a head-on, wrong-way crash on In­ter­state 25.

The State Pa­trol says 71-year-old Jackie Olm­stead of Wash­ing­ton was driv­ing south in the north­bound lanes near Pueblo when he smashed his pickup into a sport util­ity ve­hi­cle driven by 51-year-old Michelle Massen­burg of Colorado Springs. Olm­stead and Massen­burg were dead at the scene. Massen­burg’s pas­sen­ger, 9-year-old Eli­jah Hag­ger of Colorado Springs, also died at the scene.

The crash hap­pened at 10:35 p.m. Thurs­day about 5 miles north of Pueblo, where Olm­stead was be­hind the wheel of a 2009 Ford F-150 that was tow­ing a U-Haul trailer. Massen­burg was driv­ing a 1999 GMC Jimmy.

In­ves­ti­ga­tors have not said why they be­lieve Olm­stead was driv­ing into on­com­ing traf­fic.

The State Pa­trol said the crash re­mains un­der in­ves­ti­ga­tion.

Of­fi­cials warn of avalanche dan­ger in moun­tains. Au­thor­i­ties were

warn­ing of the po­ten­tial for avalanches in parts of Colorado’s high coun­try be­cause of storms bring­ing snow and strong winds to the moun­tains. The Colorado Avalanche In­for­ma­tion Cen­ter said Sun­day back­coun­try avalanches were pos­si­ble in As­pen, Vail and Sum­mit County, the San Juan moun­tains, San­gre de Cris­tos and parts of the Front Range.

The cen­ter said the most dan­ger­ous slopes were near and above tree­line. It urged back­coun­try skiers to give them­selves a wide buf­fer on steeper slopes, steer­ing clear of vis­i­ble rock for­ma­tions and wind­drifted ar­eas.

Driver rear-ends bus, is killed B

fort collins» The driver of a blue Ford Ranger pickup hit a city bus about 8:17 p.m. Christ­mas Eve and later died, ac­cord­ing to po­lice.

A news re­lease stated that the 23-year-old man was head­ing south in the right lane of the 5100 block of South Col­lege Av­enue when he rear-ended the bus, which was trav­el­ing in the same di­rec­tion.

An am­bu­lance trans­ported the man, whose iden­tity hasn’t been re­leased, to the Med­i­cal Cen­ter of the Rock­ies, where he died.

There were no pas­sen­gers in the truck or bus, ac­cord­ing to the re­lease.

South­bound Col­lege Av­enue was closed for about three hours, po­lice said, as they in­ves­ti­gated.

“Po­lice be­lieve speed and al­co­hol were con­tribut­ing fac­tors in the col­li­sion,” the re­lease stated.

Po­lice search­ing for man wanted on as­sault, drug charges B

colorado springs» Po­lice are ask­ing for the public’s help find­ing a man fac­ing as­sault and drug charges who has eluded cap­ture for sev­eral days. Carlo Strif­folino, 42, is wanted on sus­pi­cion of first-de­gree as­sault, fail­ure to com­ply, pos­ses­sion of a con­trolled sub­stance, vi­o­la­tion of a pro­tec­tion or­der and third­de­gree as­sault, po­lice said Sun­day. He is dis­tin­guished by a tat­too on his neck say­ing “C.Springs 74.” Any­one with in­for­ma­tion can call po­lice at 719-4447000.

Fire makes Christ­mas dif­fi­cult for fam­ily B

el­li­cott» A fire broke out in an El­li­cott home Fri­day, de­stroy­ing parts of the house, char­ring the Christ­mas tree and putting a damper on one fam­ily’s hol­i­day spir­its.

The fire broke out about 10:50 a.m. at a res­i­dence on the 2100 block of Slocum Road, off Colorado 94, where Crys­tal Rogers has lived with her hus­band and two chil­dren since 2011.

Rogers and her fam­ily were help­ing a rel­a­tive in Cal­han move, but neigh­bors alerted them af­ter see­ing smoke com­ing from the house.

Fire­fight­ers ar­rived within 10 min­utes, and the blaze was ex­tin­guished within an hour. But the liv­ing room was ru­ined, and many of the gifts Rogers and her hus­band had pur­chased for their 6- and 7-year-old sons were lost in the fire.

“The rest of the house is so smoke-dam­aged that noth­ing is left,” she said. “I man­aged to find a cou­ple of my ba­bies’ baby pic­tures, but other than that there was noth­ing we could take out of the house.”

The fam­ily’s three cats es­caped to the garage and were not hurt.

El Paso County of­fi­cials are in­ves­ti­gat­ing the cause of the fire. They be­lieve it may have started near the Christ­mas tree, said Michael Henley, chief of the El­li­cott Fire Depart­ment.

Rogers said she and her fam­ily will spend the hol­i­days with rel­a­tives in Fal­con.

“I’m heart­bro­ken,” she said. “All of the mem­o­ries that we made in that house — my baby tak­ing his first steps was in that house. He’ll never have an­other first step.”

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